Total Deception of the Heart

by Stacy McKeigue
(stacy.mckeigue@valpo.edu)

There are countless of love songs out there, and on Valentine’s Day we seem to hear them all. But are all of them really about love? Sometimes upon deeper listening, we find that some of these so-called “love songs” are actually about love lost or the pain of a bad relationship. In no particular order, here is a list of some of my favorite deceptively sweet tunes.

1) Down In the Willow Garden by The Chieftains ft. Bon Iver

The breathy bagpipes, relaxed strumming, and Iver’s soothing voice make you forget it’s a song about murder.

2) Where the Wild Roses Grow by Kylie Minogue ft. Nick Cave

Following in the footsteps of Willow Garden, this laid-back mimic of a folk song tells the story of a young woman in love…with a man who intends to kill her.

3) Love Song by Sara Bareilles

By now everyone knows the story behind this song: her record company told her that she needed a love song to complete her first album, and this was her response. However, for anyone who doesn’t know the tale, this song appears to be about a singer whose boyfriend is demanding she write a love song for him.

4) Darling Lorraine by Paul Simon

This is a song a lot of people might not know. The first time I heard it, I thought it was going to be about how amazing a woman named Lorraine is. But as the song progresses, you realize it’s spotted with the couple’s fights and digs at each other, which only get reconciled before she dies at the very end.

5) How I Met Your Mother by The Friday Night Boys

The title gives it away, but the lyrics themselves lead you to believe that the dorky boy next door finally gets the girl of his dreams when her boyfriend dumps her. At the end, though, it’s revealed that the woman the boy ends up with is actually the girl’s mother.

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